Malaria is a serious disease that transmits by mosquitoes. In 1880, scientists discovered the cause of malaria. Malaria is caused by a microscopic parasite called plasmodium. The parasite is transmitted upon person to person through the bite of a female Anopheles mosquito. Male mosquito does not carry this disease, only female does. Malaria mostly occurred in the underdeveloped countries like Africa, South America, any of the tropical and sub-tropical regions. Today, it is estimated that there are 40 percent of the world population is still at risk of this malaria. Malaria was once wide spread in the 20th century because of the temperate climates. According to statistics, malaria causes more than 500 million illnesses, and it killed at least one million people per year mostly young children. Of the one million deaths due to malaria, ninety percent of it occurs in Africa, south of the Sahara. Malaria mostly transmitted to young children. In Africa, malaria killed young children every 30 seconds. Most young children that survived from this terrible disease may suffer from learning impairments or brain damage. Children are not the only that can get malaria, pregnant women and unborn babies can also be vulnerable to this disease.
There are four types of parasite that caused malaria. The first one is Plasmodium vivax, P. malariae, P. ovale, P. falciparum. The two most common one are P. vivax and P. falciparum. Of these two, the deadliest is P. falciparum. When the parasite enters the human body, it takes over the red blood cell and replicates itself to make new ones. Basically, the parasite finds the host, and it will take over the process of growth and division causing abnormal replication of the cell. The symptoms to watch out for malaria are fever, headache, vomiting and other flu-like symptoms. It takes 9 to 14 days from the bite of the mosquito in order to find the symptoms. Malaria is a serious disease, and it mostly occurs in the poor countries. In North America, only South America has malaria, whereas the United States and Canada had totally eradicated the disease. And for economic impact, it takes million of life away, and not the mention millions of funding treatment and prevention of the disease. There is no specific data how much it costs for each countrys spending but we do know that it takes millions of funding to treat this disease.
Chagas Disease: Chagas disease was discovered in 1909 by a Brazilian physician Carlos Chagas. This disease only exists only on the American Continent. The disease is caused by a flagellate protozoan parasite called Trypanosoma cruzi. The disease is transmitted by a kissing bug through the sucking of blood transfusion, or through the mucous membranes of the eye and mouth or through opening of the skin. Same as malaria, chagas disease appeared in the poor and under develop countries like Central and South America, and it killed at least 16 to 18 million people per year. It is estimated about seventy percent of cases occur in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay. The risk of getting this disease is not very high because its directly related to poverty. Poor living area condition, and rural areas will have a higher chances of getting this disease. There are 3 stages to this disease. The first stage of the infection is known as acute stage, the second stage is known as the latent stage, and the third stage is known as the chronic stage. The acute stage will appear after couple of days after the infection, and it may cause death to young children. After catching the first stage of this disease, it takes week to notice the symptoms. The symptoms included like edema and lymph node enlargement; the patient may have fever and prostration for several weeks. After the acute stage, latent stage kick in and last up to two years with no symptoms at all.
The most serious stage of all is the chronic stage which twenty seven percent of those who infected will have circulatory problems, damage to the central nervous system and the heart muscle, and enlargement of the digestive track, and may lead to death.
According to statistics, only 6 percent will develop digestive damage, and 3 percent may have nervous problem. The drug that used to treat the disease is Nifurtimox, and benznidazole. There is no effective treatment for chronic infections and according to medical doctors, here are the list of prevention and control of the disease. The first prevention and treatment of the disease is to treat houses with residual insecticides, and blood screening to prevent transmission through transfusion, third is the drug treatment for acute early indeterminate and congenital cases, and lastly, house improvement.
According to the UNDP Human Development Report, the estimated average annual per-capita gross domestic product in Latin America, is US $2,966, and about hundred thousands of people died from this disease. Due to this disease, most people become disable and this cost the country 2.5 percent on the debt.